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Monday's CBS sitcoms went off the rails last night

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 10th 2009 1:28PM
cbs_logoSo last night I sat down for some laughs with the CBS Monday night sitcom lineup. It's a weekly thing I do with my spouse, a chance to get away from the computer screen and just relax for a while. Normally, I relish this time because -- for the most part -- I love 75% of the shows from eight o'clock till CSI: Miami. (I usually empty the dishwasher during Accidentally on Purpose, sort of half-watching it because, as I've said before, it's just not working for me.)

Well, it seemed like last night's CBS comedies went off the rails. They strained to be funny, in all the wrong ways. Here are my thoughts, show by show -- including Accidentally (which I did watch):

How I Met Your Mother

When you have to resort to prosthetics for gags, you're in trouble. The last time -- and maybe the only time -- a fat suit was really funny was the Geller Thanksgiving flashback with fat Monica on Friends. I couldn't laugh at Barney in the fat suit because it was so obviously a costume. It looked bad and the humor was gross and over the top. I love HIMYM, but this was a poor episode. Also, a personal pet peeve of mine is the acceptance of porn as an everyday thing. I know I sound like an old fart, but eight o'clock shows should not be nonchalantly suggesting a suitcase of porn is nothing to raise an eyebrow over. Oh, sure, it's Barney. I get the joke, but there's something inappropriate about porn gags in primetime -- at least to me.

Accidentally on Purpose
Okay, triple offensive fouls here. The icky idea of Michael Rappaport's character having the hots for Billie because she's preggers and it's a sexual fetish for him. Then Abby flirting with adultery to get her husband to agree to start a family now. And, of course, Harris the baker. And by baked we're talking stoned. This show is desperately trying to make the Davis character their go-to guy for a laugh. It's not working. I want him to move away.

Two and a Half Men
Within hours of setting a date for his wedding to Chelsea, Charlie wakes up in the same bed with Alan and a girl from a bar. Debauchery, thy name is Harper. I accept the vulgarity of Two and a Half Men, but I expect it to be filled with laughs. This was a stretch, trying to find the humor in a drunken escapade that Charlie could only partially recall.

The Big Bang Theory
I have come to adore this show. It's just adorable... usually. Last night, the full-on fighting -- Leonard and Penny, Raj and Howard, Howard and his mother, Raj and his parents -- not only turned off Sheldon, it turned me off, too. My ears were bleeding. Again, the funny just wasn't there.

So, was it just a quirk of programming that the typically jolly two hours (for me, 90 minutes) of sitcom hilarity was rife with crass story lines and dumb jokes? What was your assessment?

[Check out clips and episodes for these shows at SlashControl.]

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Judy

Personally, I've gotten tired of 2 1/2 Men. It's the same old jokes...and I wonder how some of them get past censors. They seem to get raunchier and raunchier, but not funnier and funnier. The jokes are just like the characters...old and sad. But this is just my opinion.

November 14 2009 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Can't be perfect every week, I guess.

November 13 2009 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Although I have not yet watched this week's Big Bang Theory (I taped it so I could watch Trama, I'm gonna miss that show!), I have to agree on the general use of porn/sex as a gag on HIMYM & 2 1/2. I used to watch both of thses shows when they started, but I quit after a few seasons, that stuff just gets old and loses it's humor after they use it over and over. I consider myself pretty accepting of that type of stuff, but enough is enough. I won't even get into the fact that it is shown fairly early in the evening, when young kids are still up watching (because no one seems to care, anyway). I really don't understand CBS on their Monday night lineup, why don't they try to be consistent with that 1 odd half an hour, they put Rules of Engagement in there, for a while, then it dissappears for months. While the writing on that show isn't the greatest, it's blessed with some good talent in the actors. Then then had Class, same situation as Rules, but they cancelled that, too. I've tried to like AOP, but it just isn't making it for me, so all I'm really left with is BBT. I used to watch the whole 2-hour block on Mondays, but it looks like that's over.

November 11 2009 at 2:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pau

something wrong with porn gags??. Sometimes I get scared with U.S. puritanism.

November 10 2009 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MJ

Up until Sept. 09 I never missed whole two hour bloc. I can't stand HIMYM any more. AOP is always very old situation comedy, have seen it way too much. T&HM has really lost it. Alan is too tight, too anal I would have kicked him to the curb a long time ago. Its time for him to grow up, at his age he needs to get it together. Big Bang - this is my first disappointment. A Big step back for Sheldon!

November 10 2009 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Axel Harris

Yes, you do sound like an old fart because porn IS an everyday thing. Find me one man in this country under the age of forty that doesn't watch porn on at least a semi-regular basis and I'll show you a man that is legally dead. The way I see it, HIMYM is one of the best reflections of the modernization of telelvision in making it closer to reality.

And come on, Barney's entire raison d'etre is to sleep with as many people as possible, how is that better than a few jokes about porn?

November 10 2009 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Allison does seem a bit tired by her job(?). This is TV. It is not theater. Really it is not supposed to challenge yor sensibilities but rather to entertain. She has a right to her opinions, but it is probably easier to not read her reviews because they are the tired rants of the "keep off my lawn" variety.

November 10 2009 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wulfn1

Ok, so everyone can't like everything , and while this wasn't the most upbeat of articles, it also wasn't the only one about those shows.

Each show got it's very own article , typed by a completely different blogger. While it's nice to see opinions that mirror your own, it's not realistic to expect all opinions to do so.

It's usually healthy to see most sides of the opinion spectrum and make your own decisions based on what you opine.

This blogger has made her opinion known. She gets paid to do so, she doesn't get paid to write sunshine, butterflies and rainbows. If you disagree with her, fine, get over it, state it simply and without resorting to childish taunts , then move the hell on.

Oh and for the record, the other bloggers who have written regarding these shows have pretty much said similar things (minus the personal distaste for porn , fetish themes and adultery).

Also for the record, she also mentioned that the Monday night lineup was usually a highlight for her, so she is not a "hater" of these particular shows. READ the whole article prior to making your assumptions.

BTW , I don't do dishes... that's my spouse's job. (oh my,.. did I offend you by including something personal within my comments? too bad )

November 10 2009 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to wulfn1's comment
Dave

Completely not shocked to see Allison wrote this one. Who was the genius that said "Hey I know, let's get someone that really hates TV to write for our all-about-TV blog!" because I want to smack them.

November 10 2009 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Hewitt

I have to ask, how much did you people pay to read this blog? Because your sense of entitlement is overwhelming.

As for the shows...

On HIMYM, The fat suit was ok, but I was annoyed that they are breaking up this soon. It seems like we wasted half a season on this "relationship". As for porn jokes, they're always welcome in my house no matter what the time.

When I saw Michael Rappaport on AOP, my first thought was "If they make him a regular, they just might save the show." Sadly, it looks like he won't be back.

2.5 was just plain creepy. Funny creepy, but still creepy.

BBT, I have to agree. It wasn't funny. Only high point was seeing how much Penny cared about Sheldon's feelings. She may be the only true friend he has.

November 10 2009 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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